Theriot Family Dental

Should I Switch Implant Dentists in the Middle of the Procedure?

Posted by writeradmin

I had two teeth in need of dental implants. Thus far, I have had the bone grafting done to build up the bone in that area because those teeth had been missing for some time and I was using a removable partial denture for them. I wanted something more permanent. After the bone grafting, he installed two different Maryland Bridges. Both of them have fallen off multiple times. I am a bit concerned that this dentist does not know what he is doing at this point. Would it be wise for me to switch dentists even though I am in the middle of the procedure or should I just stick it out and hope for the best?


Dear Bethany,

The image on the left shows a maryland bridge. The image on the right shows the preparation for a maryland bridge

I do think you should switch dentists for your dental implant procedure for a few reasons. First, he seems incapable of being able to keep the bonding on a Maryland Bridge. This tells me he is inexperienced in bonding procedures. Second, a Maryland Bridge is not a good choice for an intermediary tooth while you are waiting on your dental implant procedure to be complete.

What you actually need is a temporary tooth replacement. Most dentists would choose something like a dental flipper because it is inexpensive for the patient, who is already investing a lot of money on their permanent replacment. A Maryland Bridge requires a notch to be cut into the tooth in order to retain its bond, as I show in the image above. That is not a temporary replacement. You will either have a notch in your tooth forever or you will need to have the missing tooth structure replaced with composite bonding. A dental flipper avoids this issue completely.

Getting a dental implant is a very advanced procedure which is not adequately taught in dental school. In order for a dentist to be thoroughly trained in this requires extensive post-doctoral training. I have a feeling your dentist lacks this. There are way too many dental implant horror stories for you to take a risk with this. If a dental implant is placed improperly, not only can it fail but there can be nerve damage and many other serious problems. Some patients have lost part of their jaw.

In addition to the post-doctoral training I meantioned, you also want someone who has at least a 95% success rate with their dental implant procedures. This is something I would ask about when you are looking for your new implant dentist. You could also check with the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI) to see if they have anyone who is a fellow with there organization in your area. ICOI fellows are the top implant dentists in the world.

So you know, your dentist is ethically obligated to cooperate fully with whomever you choose. That includes sharing all his diagnostics and treatment notes. You should not have to redo those, unless your new dentist finds a flaw in them.

This blog is brought to you by Baton Rouge Dentist Dr. John Theriot.